CBS' Phoenix affiliate KPHO has been sued by a Mesa doctor the station accused of being a pervert in terms of how he treated a few female employees.
According to Doctor Khalid Shirif, the medical director of Creative Health Care Services (Sunrise Health & Hospice), KPHO falsely reported that he fired three female employees -- Paula Winsor, Susan Brand, and Diane Guzman -- when they complained that he sexually harassed them.
"I felt he crossed the line with the text message, 'Send me a picture with your pants off,'" KPHO quoted one of the women as saying in a May 2010 broadcast.
KPHO reported that the three women said they "were demoted or fired once they complained" about the harassment.
However, in a lawsuit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, Shirif claims he received a letter written on the women's behalf demanding $7.5 million before their claims were ever made public.
Shirif claims that when he "refused to pay off Brand, Winsor, and Guzman, the woman went to the media."
He also claims the women went to both the police and the Arizona Medical Board to complain about the alleged harassment. However, Mesa police found no probable cause to pursue the women's claims of sexual harassment and assault, and the AMB dismissed the women's complaints -- information that was available to KPHO but left out of the station's broadcast, the lawsuit claims.
Shirif says the women weren't fired but quit after speaking to a lawyer.
The claim alleges that KPHO's report that "Guzman, Brand, and Winsor had been 'demoted or fired' once they complained about the alleged sexual harassment, [was] false, misleading, [and] created false impressions and implications and/or omitted critical facts concerning Dr. Shirif and Sunrise."
However, just because KPHO is accused of screwing up the story, doesn't mean Shirif's not a pervert.
We checked his profile on the AMB website and it turns out Shirif is currently on probation for lying about a 1998 indecent-exposure conviction.
Shirif pleaded guilty in 1998 to charges that he exposed himself to women at a Minnesota tanning salon. Five women testified that Shirif tried to lure them into tanning rooms while he was undressing. He later admitted to "intentionally exposing his penis."
The letter of reprimand from the AMB goes on to say that an investigation revealed that "a different indecent exposure incident" had been reported to the Minnesota police on June 26, 1998.
Attempts to contact Shirif's attorney, Kraig Marton, were unsuccessful this afternoon.
Shirif is seeking an injunction against KPHO, an admission that its three broadcasts were false, and general, special, and punitive damages.